I went to University to read economics. But boredom intervened and I switched to Sociology because it is quite unnecessary to know anything whatsoever about money or arithmetic, or the value of anything. I am still convinced that Milton Keynes was one of the founding fathers of the new economic order. So in the woolly discipline of Sociology it was inevitable that I would shine like an excellent star. No knowledge of economics is required and no knowledge of anything else either. It was thus something of a foregone conclusion that the University of Kent should award me first class honours. I relished the term “first class” and proceeded to Liverpool University where I was to obtain my second first class Masters degree in Civil Design (Town Planning to ordinary folk). Then it was back to Kent College – not a University, I’m afraid – to obtain my diploma in Management Studies. They presented it with distinction – which, I think you will concur - is a notch above first class. Anyway there has been a great deal of talk about economics in recent days and inevitably it re-awakened my early fascination. In fact I cannot recall a time when events in Washington and Westminster were more fascinating that match of the day. It all seems to be going wrong at the moment but it will turn out fine in the last chapter – mark my words. I think we in Somerset will need to learn to value delivery and cost effectiveness far more in future. Remind me to get a book out of the library about it, or did we cut the library budgets this year? The remarkable savings which SouthWest One will make – the projected figures have risen from £200million to a staggering £150million – are certain to be of benefit to everybody. You can all rest assured that I am in complete control and have the academic qualifications to match the challenge with excellence.